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Are dogs required to wear life jackets on boats?

Are dogs required to wear life jackets on boats?

Taking dogs on boats can be a fun way to spend the weekend – who doesn't want to be cruising down our gorgeous Aussie waterways! Dogs can be a little unpredictable at times though (especially if boating is a new experience for them) so today we're answering some common questions about safe boating practices for dogs. 

Are dogs required to wear life jackets on boats?

The number one question we're asked is whether dogs are required to wear life jackets on boats. Although Australian maritime laws don't specifically mention dogs, it's widely recognised that dogs should be treated the same way as human passengers and crew when it comes to safety guidelines.

Essentially, if you're required to wear a life jacket, then your dog should too. 

Each state and territory has different requirements for life jackets and safety equipment, so we recommend checking out your local authority's website:

Always check the weather forecast before and during any trip on the water. You can visit the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for updates! The Bureau also has advice for a range of marine and water-based activities, so you can know your weather and know your risk, and get access to the best tools to help you plan ahead.

Safety tips for boating with dogs

  1. Fit your dog with a quality dog life jacket: As we discussed above, dog life jackets are essential for all boating activities. They will help to keep your dog afloat and provide extra safety if they accidentally fall overboard.

  2. Train your dog: Before taking your dog on a boat, ensure they are well-trained and understand basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. This will help prevent them from jumping overboard and help you control them in the event of an emergency.

  3. Keep your dog hydrated: Dogs can get dehydrated quickly in the sun and heat, so provide them with plenty of fresh water and shade on the boat.

  4. Protect their paws: The deck of a boat can get hot and cause burns to your dog's paws. Consider providing a mat or towel for them to lie on or dog booties to protect their paws.

  5. Secure your dog: Ensure your dog is securely tied or attached to the boat at all times to prevent them from falling overboard. A good life jacket will have a d-ring attachment for this purpose. 

Shop sun and water essentials for your next boating adventure

Our online surf boutique is bursting with gorgeous sun and water essentials for the most stylish dogs on the water! Here's what we recommend for boating:

  • Australian Made dog life jackets – Available in four vibrant colours for puppies, small and medium sized dogs. They feature a panelled foam design for comfort, d-ring attachment to secure your dog to the boat and padded handles in case you need to lift them back onto the deck.
  • Luxurious dog towels – Beautifully soft for your dog to lie on while cruising, and perfect for drying them off after a swim. Best of all, they're 20% off with any dog life jacket purchase! 

Catch you on the water! ✌️